May We Feel Safe … May We Live in Peace Mary E. Latela 12/12/2015
In January of the year I was born, my mother and father, who had spent a month after their wedding in NYC, said farewell, and Mom boarded the train and went home to her parent’s home. She was waiting; before long, she realized she was waiting for me, that is, the baby who was coming. My father spent the next year and a half in the Aleutian Islands, another place where sometimes it’s dark all the time, and sometimes the sun never sets.
For some, the post-Christmas season is a bit of a letdown. I know people who leave the Christmas cards hanging from the door up for months. Many Protestants missed growing up with the Feast of the Three Wise Men, Epiphany, which is on the calendar for January 6th. We don’t know if the three wise men reach Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus on the 12th day of Christmas, but that is the feast day.
Italians, South-Americans, and others mark the day with a mini-celebration. We always kept one gift back to give to our children on the Feast. In our homes, we may be putting away gifts, getting caught up with the laundry, spending a little time reading a book that came from a friend, or jumping right back into our work schedule.
Epiphany, derived from the Latin, the Greek, and even Old French also means a moment of sudden revelation or insight. No bells and whistles! For example, I just located the gift for my dear friend across the country, never sent out. I realized there is half a tin of brownies behind the tree.
When my mother was expecting me, life went on as before – letters from Dad occasionally, even a picture of him in eskimo gear; doing the laundry; Grandma crocheting some booties for the baby; listening to the radio, but just enough to hear a little music; praying that World War II would end in peace for the U.S. and all the allies – a lasting peace.
January, end of the Battle of the Bulge. Germany begins to lose hope.
February. Yalta conference with FDR, Churchill, & Stalin
US Marines land on Iwo Jima
March, Allies capture significant targets in Germany.
April, US and British troops see the liberation of the Camps.
FDR dies. Mussolini captured. Hitler dead.
May, Victory in Europe Day
End of July, Ultimatum to Japan.
August 6, Enola Gay B-20 Drops Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan
August 9, An atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
August 15, V-J Victory over Japan day. Sept. 2nd Japan surrenders.World War II, the most devastating war in human history, is over.
September – our families celebrate the end of the War. Mom is still waiting. I am born in October. (another story!) Dad comes home the following March. We are a family together again!
I just had an epiphany! War is horrible, lonely, devastating. I also realized that while I was cozily waiting, my Mom and all our loved ones, and people everywhere, were living their lives, but fear was not a stranger. So, forgive me if I shrink back when I hear loose talk about bombing the H___ out of anyone.
May We Feel Safe … May We Live in Peace